Blast from the Past


#1

So as not to muddy other topics. @brklinck
I LOVED the original EPCOT CENTER. Back when it opened in the early 80's - I was the perfect age - a 13 year old - amazed at the possibilities of what the future could bring. It was an AMAZING combination of the past, the present and the future. Travel to europe (and travel as a whole) was still an EXPERIENCE. Flying was an adventure and not the drudgery it is today.

I give WDW credit for trying to keep Epcot relevant and listening to people. Not everyone was a looking to be educated on vacation - but man - I remember looking at an IBM mainframe thinking - WOW that is amazing.

Anyway - the rides, especially in Future world were unbelievable. Living Seas made you feel like you were going to the bottom of the sea. World of Motion was a fun romp through the past to the future and how you would get there. Living with the land was magical (although my family mocks me constantly for my love of it). Universe of Energy was LOUD and SMELLED and just transported you back. I love Ellen but it had gravitas. Don't even get me started on how Journey into Imagination was compared to the (pardon my French) crapfest the have replaced it with. Spaceship Earth with Walter Cronkite (I am sure some of you have NO idea who he was) was awe inspiring. Above them all was Horizons - a decidedly 80's look at the future that I rode time and time and time again. So I know things change - but what do people think of the Original Epcot CENTER

As an added bonus - here is a ride through of Horizons. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvOpTFZCaig


#2

I could not agree more. FW is a SAD shadow of what it was in the 80s...


#3

Interesting because last year my mom and her boyfriend traveled to Disney with us and he kept going on and on about how much he was looking forward to going back to Epcot and kept raving about the rides. I had done extensive research on TP and kept cautioning him that his recollection didn't seem to match the reviews I was reading. He was very willing to just go with our plan but at one point we got ahead of schedule so he decided to go on one that he remembered as being awesome but I hadn't included because of reviews (I can't remember which one). He got off the ride almost grieving for how far it fell short of what he remembered it had been.

Fast forward to this year and my MIL is coming with us. She too kept raving about Epcot and the rides they had enjoyed back then and was getting really frustrated that I didn't have them in the plans. I had to get out the computer and read the description of each ride currently there before she believed me that those rides she remembered as absolutely must-do rides (over and over again in fact) either aren't there or are so much worse than they once were, that they aren't really worth the time.

Having said all that, there were plenty of things we enjoyed at Epcot and we look forward to going back but both experiences sure made me wish I could go to the Epcot they both remembered.


#4

So sorry. Yeah - the Original Epcot was like a World's Fair (another blast from the past). The rides had presence and gravitas. You were drawn into them and there was a solid story. They really transported you. I think the biggest travesty was Journey Into Imagination. They have tried to patch it together - but the original had so much whimsy and excitement to it. yes - by today's standards it was legitimately lame - but in 1982 it was truly magical. You tube some of them - they are great to watch.

Now I think Epcot is trying to do what it can and it is hard to stay ahead of the future. But it just had this Presence that it is missing now. I still love it. THere was also more open space which made each pavilion a destination - now they are hidden a bit by distractions.

Innoventions used to be Communicore East and West and it was filled with NEAR future innovations like a LAP TOP and ELECTRIC CARS - WOW!!! HA.

When you got out of Spaceship earth there were all these Kiosks (and a few were sprinkled around world showcase. They were Touch screen (IMAGINE!!!) and you would video chat with a cast member (dressed in cheesy "futuristic" blue jumper) that could make you dinner reservations. Just think you could only make dining reservations the DAY OF!!!!


#5

I was never able to go to Epcot back in the day when it was as you've described. My first trip there was in the mid 90's and it was just on the verge of being dated in FW. Now, DD and I really have very few things that we do in FW and spend most of our time in the WS. I can see what it was first imagined to be, and I hope it can get back there. Or to there? Whichever works.


#6

Here is another Old Epcot fan:
"How big of a Horizons nerd am I? I have blueprints from the attraction framed in our apartment."

Wrong park, I know, but the one I wish I could ride is 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.


#7

Mic Drop - you WIN. I would totally have the blueprints if I was allowed. I can almost smell the Orange grove


#8

OK, here's the Horizons Ultimate Tribute - literally

Martin has done a whole series of tributes to "lost" EP attractions (and other stuff too). They are all excellent.


#9

Epcot used to be very inspiring - now it is just interesting


#10

I was lucky enough to tour the "Wonders of Life" in 2000. I got a little queasy at "Body Wars," played the games at the "Fitness Fairgrounds," enjoyed "Cranium Wars," and then cried at the "Making of Me" video* (we were trying to get pregnant).

How I loved that pavilion.

Now they use the place to sell wine at the Food & Wine festival.

*I have a poor but passable copy of "Making of Me" in mp3 format. Love it still.


#11

As much of an EP "nostalgiast" as I am, I have to say that the Wonders of Life pavilion never really worked for me. Body Wars was a cool concept (lifted straight from "Fantastic Voyage"), but the video quality was not good, the visuals and motion never seemed to be synched well (which is why it caused a lot more motion sickness than ST), and worst of all, in an "edutainment" ride, some of the basic human anatomy and physiology was wrong. Cranium Command was probably fun for the kids, but I was in my 30s and found it more annoying than entertaining. When I saw "The Making of Me" I thought WTF? This belongs in a Jr. HS "Life Sciences" class, not in the middle of a theme park. It was very well done, but bizarrely misplaced.

I would love to see the building (or at least the land under it) used for something more than a festival and special events center, but I think they could do better than the old WoL.


#12

I generally agree. I did like Wonders - but it wasn't a beacon for me. But I love the fact that they "reached" for it. I do feel a bit WTF when they close the pavilion due to lack of sponsorship. What does my $100 / day ticket pay for?!?!?!